Boursenews: The world is going through a tense context due to geopolitics and the risk of recession. Do you still think it is worth investing in Africa today?
Youssef Rouissi : The situation you describe is a real window of opportunity for reviving investment and entrepreneurship, in Morocco, the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa. This is our conviction as a banking and finance group located in 16 African countries. Our system of 5,800 branches gives us very strong local roots, knowledge and proximity to small businesses, young entrepreneurs, but also countries and large groups, and it allows us to identify many opportunities in sectors such as agro-industry, health, digital, sustainable cities, infrastructure and energy, but also training and human capital. We now have a variety of opportunities to support our customers and our operators. To do this, the Attijariwafa bank group network allows the connection between the two shores of the Mediterranean.
Boursenews: What are the strengths of the Attijariwafa banking group to support project leaders in Africa?
Youssef Rouissi: We have a local network that primarily connects Moroccan, Maghreb and sub-Saharan African companies to business communities, such as the Africa Development Club which brings together thousands of our customers in different countries with presence. to each other, to exchange ideas and to invest. We also have an important system in place to support young entrepreneurs in their business projects through extensive funding to small businesses. The group also has non-financial mechanisms that make it possible to welcome young project leaders and support them in dedicated centers in Morocco and Tunisia. Other centers in sub-Saharan Africa exist to support project promoters, free of charge, in setting up their business plan and supporting them and strengthening their financial capacities.
Boursenews: You partner with BPI France in supporting European investors in Africa. What is this partnership about?
Youssef Rouissi: Our partnership with Bpifrance began in 2014 and it addresses a logic of strong relationships between European operators and operators from our countries with a presence in the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa. It aims first of all to facilitate knowledge and networking between the two countries, the ones leading the projects in Europe and Africa, through different formulas and different methods. The first strong idea in our partnership was the business communities. We have been working together, since 2014, the Attijari Business platform, a digital platform for connecting French Moroccan operators and also connected to our sub-Saharan business communities to move towards discoveries and mission on earth. We have organized over 6,000 field visits. 700 contacts were organized to provide concrete partnership and exchange projects. The second important dimension of the partnership is financing and co-financing through guarantee mechanisms. Understanding that BPI knows European customers, we have the possibility to provide financing.
So it is the joint financing done in the direction of these companies. I would also say that the projection goes in a north-south direction but also in a south-north direction. And we also have Moroccan and North African companies planning in France and Europe. It is also an important dimension of the cooperation we have developed with our brothers and sisters.